Southern California is such a fun place to be year-round with tons of activities to keep you busy every day of the week. With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, the options for outdoor outings are endless. These festivals scattered around SoCal are just one of many ways to spend an entire day, or even a whole weekend, enjoying our state. Check out this list and make sure to add these festivals to your calendar so you don’t miss out on the action. If you are up for only one festival this season, number 6 on the list is an absolute MUST as it is one of the most unique and memorable festivals to experience in Southern California.
1. California Wine Festival in Dana Point
The 7th Annual Wine Festival overlooking Dana Point Harbor is a stylish way to sip and sample wine with a stunning view of the harbor. The festival is fast approaching April 15-16. If you are not up for the sticker price of tickets, you might also consider signing up as a volunteer for the event.
2. Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival
Held annually since 1983, the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is held on the first weekend in June at the Lake Skinner Recreation Area.
3. Newport Beach Film Festival
Coming up April 21-28 indulge on movies and culture at this week-long film festival that screens original features, shorts and documentaries. In addition to movie screenings, the festival also offers nightly entertainment and post-screening events.
4. Joshua Tree Music Festival
Family-friendly music fest coming up May 12-15 in Joshua Tree.
5. California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard
Coming up on May 21st and 22nd, you can kick off your summer surrounded by plump and juicy strawberries at this delicious festival in Oxnard that's a fun treat for the whole family.
6. Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach
If you don't go to any other festival this summer you MUST go to this one as this is an experience that should not be missed. Actors in elaborate and authentic costumes bring classic paintings to life right before your eyes in a 90-minute live stage show . This festival is open every night from July 7-August 31. Tickets range from $15 to $150 so there is an option for every budget.
7. The Lavender Festival in the town of Cherry Valley
The most fragrant festival on the list, the Lavender Festival in Cherry Valley, CA is a treat to all the senses. This might be the perfect girls' day outing, so grab your friends to view and smell the beauty of the lavender fields in full bloom.
8. The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale
There may be lots of other Renaissance fairs around, but this is the original one that started the Renaissance craze across the country. Check out this memorable event on Saturdays and Sundays starting April 9 to May 22 at Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area.
9. Surf 'n' Suds Beer Festival in Ventura and Carpinteria
Held in Ventura on May 21st and at Carpinteria State Beach on August 13, this fun festival has been voted the #8 Beer Fest in the country by BeerYeti.com so it must be fun! Tons of craft breweries will be there along with food trucks and live music.
10. Claremont Folk Festival
Get ready for culture and tunes at the 33rd annual Claremont Folk Festival coming up on May 22nd. It's always a memorable night of food, libations and music in the charming town of Claremont.
11. Mission Federal Art Walk in San Diego
Head to San Diego on April 30 and May 1 for this festival that features fine art and performance art across 17 blocks in the vibrant neighborhood of Little Italy.
12. Ojai Wine Festival
Head to Ojai on June 12 and experience the 30th annual Ojai Wine Festival at the Lake Casitas Recreation Area. Sip and savor samples of wine from over 60 local wineries. Enjoy the lake while you're there and hop on a free boat ride.
These fabulous festival picks are sure to keep you busy all season long. What other festivals do you love going to in Southern California? We love your suggestions, so please let us know.